WEAKER EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD: DANGEROUS IMPACT ON SATELLITES
Earth and universe depend on various factors which creates the balance, however, recently many changes are being seen in the Earth. While climate change has been in the headlines for decades now, something within the taking place inside the Earth’s surface which is recently discovered by scientists has come to know.
According to the scientists, the change which was happening slowly for two hundred years is the decreasing strength of our Earth’s magnetic field. Yes, the magnetic field, something that has been very useful for humans on earth and in space, is also something that protects us. How? Well, like every celestial body, there are powerful magnetic waves with highly charged particles coming from space, especially from the sun and Earth’s magnetic field causes them to not reach the earth due to this magnetic field, which can cause us a lot of damage.
WHAT IS THE MAGNETIC FIELD OF EARTH?
Earth’s magnetic field is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth’s interior out into space exerting a force on the charged particles emanating from the Sun. The geomagnetic field gets stretched out into a comet-like shape with a tail of magnetism that stretches millions of miles behind the Earth, opposite from the Sun.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Well, the geomagnetic field creates electric currents that generate and change our electromagnetic field. While the outer core of the planet is like a giant turbine, each rotation of the Earth creates movements inside the liquid outer core which gives rise to the geomagnetic field.
WHAT EFFECT WILL THE WEAKENING OF EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD HAVE?
One can see the magnetic field in action with examples like a compass which works the way it does because of the Earth’s magnetic field or the Northern Lights in the Polar Regions which are also caused by the magnetic field of Earth, scientifically what happens is that the energy particles emitted by the Sun are channelled by the Earth’s magnetic field towards the poles, where they interact with the atmosphere to create the aurora borealis.
This, more importantly, affects us because, in case of non-existence of the magnetic field of Earth, the life of Earth would be in danger from the harmful cosmic radiation and charged particles emitted from the Sun.
They affect both nature and artificial things from birds, turtles and other creatures that use the magnetic field of Earth to navigate to the navigation systems and mapping functions in smartphones may be affected. Where it is reported to be weakening, in Africa and South America, it is causing issues for satellites and spacecraft. While the telecommunication and satellite systems also rely on the geomagnetic field, its weakening can cause difficulties in computers, mobile phones and other devices.
THE AREAS WHICH ARE MOST AFFECTED OR WHERE IS IT WEAK?
According to scientists, this magnetic field is gradually weakening, especially in areas from Africa to South America. And while the reason for this is still unknown, it is the reason behind technical malfunction in our satellite circling our earth.
WHY IS IT WEAKENING?
The scientists have recently noticed very obvious changes in this layer and found that the core layers of the earth had started rotating in comparison to the surface. They, being the in-charge of identifying and measuring the different magnetic signals that constitute Earth’s magnetic field, are studying the development of South Atlantic Anomaly.
German researcher Jürgen Matzka says that such an effect was seen in the last decade, but it has been developing rapidly in recent years. The good thing is that they can study this anomaly from the data of Swarm Satellite Group. But the challenge is how do we understand what that process is, due to which these changes are happening inside our earth.
While the earlier scientists had also discovered that our magnetic poles are changing their position only because the magnetic field is weak. But changing the location of poles is not a new phenomenon for the Earth. But the reason for its change was also told by the scientists to rotate the surface of the core. The challenge that lies ahead is to study the reason behind the change.
WILL THE EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD BE REVERSED?
Just like any other activity with the celestial objects, well, this is also something that would take a long time. However, a study published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2018 found that despite the weakening field, “Earth’s magnetic field is probably not reversing”. Having mentioned that, the reversal of a magnetic field takes tens of thousands of years of occurring.